How To Use A Box Blade

When it comes to investing in new equipment, deciding what’s right for you can be daunting.

Expensive new capital deserves a look before you leap. Your resources are finite, and leaning heavily on improving one element of your farm’s operations often comes at the expense of other opportunities.

A box blade can help you sidestep that dilemma. It has multiple purposes. It digs, it moves, and it clears land much faster and much more efficiently than doing so manually. 

Read on for a quick dive into the workings of this device, how you can use it, how you can exploit its full potential.

What Is A Box Blade?

A box blade is a multipurpose tool that attaches to the tractor in order to carry out a diverse range of jobs on the farm. As the unimaginative name suggests, it’s a metal box with three conjoined sides. It has sharp blades on the forefront and in the rear. They also are equipped with “scarifiers”, which are essentially metal teeth-like blades. These enable the terrain to be moved and shaped.

They are designed for leveling and spreading materials, anything from gravel to the soil. They are for, in short, altering and manipulating the land.

Basic Tips For Using A Box Blade

There are several factors to consider before you use your box blade, and we’ll share some tips and tricks from our experience you can put to use if you decide to pull the trigger. 

Pick The Right Box Blade

Different tractors require different box blade accessories. 

What type of box blade you ultimately purchase depends on the size of the tractor and what you’ll be using it for. 

Some are built for power, others for reliability and durability.

Begin with a measurement of the width of your tractor wheels. Ensure the box blade you buy is marginally bigger than their width. 

You don’t want it too big, or too small. That sweet spot will ensure that the box blade does not overpower the tractor, or fall short of the demands of the job. 

Learn How To Use It

This is a fairly universal piece of advice. However, it’s especially important when operating heavy machinery with potential hazards and risk of accident if not used correctly. 

Usually, any box blade purchase will come with a comprehensive manual with clear instructions and a detailed description of each part and every function. 

It’s worth your time to read it and educate yourself about the details. Know the machine intimately so it’s performance and your safety is intuitive.

Practice

Everyone has heard the phrase – ‘practice makes perfect.’ It’s cliche but sometimes the first lessons we learn in life are the ones that serve us the longest.

Before undertaking any important task with little margin for error, practice, practice, and then practice some more! 

It can be fun getting to know a new piece of equipment, and the more you practice the more your confidence will grow.  

The top link’s position on the tractor is an important factor in proper box blade use. 

Some jobs require the box blade close to the ground, others need it raised up. 

In particular, note the configuration for scraping. When scraping, the top link needs to be set shorter so that the box blade itself is raised ever so slightly, hovering just above the soil or terrain.

Scarifiers

“Scarifiers” are your best tool for breaking up soil and other terrains. 

They work to beat down and chop up any hard lumps and tough soil. 

Without them, you would struggle to flatten and smoothen sufficiently. 

With your box blade in a forward position, this will enable the scarifiers to go about their work. 

Level out the box blade so that the scarifiers can level the terrain to your expectations. 

Smoothing Surfaces

Once you have begun the initial process of chopping and changing, the end goal may be to smooth out the area you’re working on.

If this is the case, there are positions that can make the process more efficient. 

Lengthen the top link in order to make the box blade face out ever so slightly. Remember, not too far out otherwise you’ll have a different problem entirely. 

Next, make sure the box blade is leveled properly.

After this is done, you are going to utilise the back blade naturally. The back blade will drag the soil in a smooth fashion. Now you’re in business! 

Going Backwards

If you have a lot of soil to shift, digging to do, or a larger load to handle, moving in reverse can amplify the box blade’s capacity for shifting material. 

With your tractor set in reverse, drive. The box blade will gain friction with a larger amount of debris and soil, significantly increasing capacity and function. 

Ditch Digging

Sometimes, you need a ditch. The box blade can help with that, improving drainage on your land and allowing excess water to settle in order to avoid unnecessary soil damage. 

Firstly, make sure that the box blade is in the optimal position. For ditch-digging, that is a box blade at an angle towards the earth you are moving. 

The scarifiers will do all the work from there on out. If on the first attempt, the ditch is not quite big enough, simply re-do the process and salt & pepper to taste.

Final Thoughts

Box blades, tractors, and rough terrain. They all go hand in hand. 

Box blades are a super handy and multipurpose tool that can be attached easily in different positions to the back of the tractor, further expanding the utility of that mainstay piece of equipment.

Through using a box blade you can chop up, level, and even smooth out a variety of different terrains. They can be easily adjusted and linked up to the back of your tractor. An asset which grows the capabilities of your farm’s principal tool.

A simple and elegant tool, box blades have expanded production and reduced workloads for countless farmers, and might just for you too.

Ryan Genkin
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